Prosecutors Oppose Dismissal of Charges Against Tornado Cash Creator Roman Storm

News | May 10, 2024 By:

On Friday, April 26, 2024, Damian Williams, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, filed a memorandum in opposition to Roman Storm’s pretrial motions in an upcoming criminal trial.

Roman Storm faces federal charges related to his alleged operation of the Tornado Cash cryptocurrency mixing service. Tornado Cash allows users to obscure the origin and destination of cryptocurrency transactions by facilitating exchanges between multiple addresses in a pooled manner. According to the indictment, from September 2020 to August 2022, over $1 billion worth of digital assets passed through Tornado Cash.

In their filing, prosecutors argue that Tornado Cash operated as an unlicensed money transmission business and was knowingly used to launder hundreds of millions of dollars derived from criminal activity. They state that Roman Storm played a key role in developing, marketing, and managing the service and personally profited in the millions from transaction fees. Storm contends that Tornado Cash was simply open-source software and that he cannot be held criminally liable.

Prosecutors refute Storm’s claim, asserting that Tornado Cash offered a fully integrated service beyond just smart contracts, including a website, user interface, processing relays, and pooled funds on the Ethereum blockchain. They say determining the precise functions and scope of the service is a question for the jury. Addressing Storm’s other motions, they maintain the statutes in question are not unconstitutionally vague and that the indictment sufficiently alleges the criminal offenses.

The memorandum also rejects Storm’s demands for additional discovery, arguing prosecutors have no obligation to obtain records from regulatory bodies that are not part of the prosecution team. Prosecutors state that the seizure of cryptocurrency from Storm’s residence was supported by probable cause and authorized by the search warrant. Both sides will present their arguments at the upcoming pretrial hearing as Roman Storm’s legal team seeks dismissal of the indictment.

Please contact BlockTribune for access to a copy of this filing.